It was a headline weekend for two Supreme Court justices as the popular and ethical limitations of sitting on the High Court became newsworthy.
Justice Roberts was rejected as a commencement speaker for being too political. A student proposal to bring the Justice to Butler University, where Justice Roberts’ niece is a senior, was nixed by the faculty.
Indianapolis Star: “We try to steer clear of political divides if possible,” said pharmacy school Professor Jeanne VanTyle, president of Butler’s faculty senate….”Last year, I watched half of the audience cheer and half of the audience frown,” she said. “That’s not what someone’s commencement ought to be.”
Over at the camp of Justice Thomas, the heat is on his wife who has started a conservative non-profit with Tea Party affiliations. According to the Los Angeles Times (via ATL), she launched Liberty Central in January. The organisation will compose “score cards” for members of Congress and receive financing from individuals and corporations, of course, thanks in part to the Citizens United ruling.
LAT: Experts say Virginia Thomas’ work doesn’t violate ethical rules for judges. But Liberty Central could give rise to conflicts of interest for her husband, they said, as it tests the norms for judicial spouses. The couple have been married since 1987.
Her site bio highlights her affection for conservative voices, listing her as “a fan of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham and other talk radio hosts,” and continues, “she is intrigued by Glenn Beck and listening carefully.”
As long as Justice Thomas is in bed with Tea Party links, I’m sure there are plenty of SCOTUS-watchers who will be listening carefully, as well.
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